Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher says that there will be dark times ahead for the health service if Fine Gael’s US tax plans are enacted after the election.

Deputy Kelleher said: “One of the more bizarre aspects of the Fine Gael election pitch is that only they can deliver stability.  Yet they have absolutely failed to provide it for our health services and in 2016 are undermining it further in cutting hospital budgets by €100 million.

“This situation will only be exacerbated further if Fine Gael’s plans to reduce tax revenues to US levels come to pass after the next election. Everyone accepts that the health service is underfunded and needs investment and reform.  This cannot happen if Fine Gael is choosing to depress revenues for electoral gain.

“The truth is that with an ageing population and the fact that health needs increase as people get older, there is simply no leeway for excessive tax cuts that would destroy the social fabric.

“The reality is that our health services will need more nurses, more therapists, more consultants and more GPs.  This is what is required for stability.  It can’t happen if Fine Gael gets the chance to implement a tax agenda similar to that of the US Republican party.

“We must also bear in mind that Fine Gael wants to turn health into a semi-state service and allow for public hospitals to be taken over by private sector.

“It is increasingly clear that stability will not result from continuity with Fine Gael.  If we want stability and if we want improved public services then change will be required in the forthcoming election.”